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Physical Therapy: An Overview

April 08, 2017

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Overview

If you have problems moving your body, physical therapy can help. It can control your pain and help you recover from injury or disease. It can help you get better after surgery. It can also help keep you healthy as you get older.

Training

Physical therapists are trained health care professionals. They must have a masters or doctorate degree in physical therapy. They are licensed by the state where they work. They are trained in physics, anatomy, human movement and pain management. A physical therapist can make a care plan just for you.

Pain Management

Physical therapy can reduce pain. It can help manage the pain of overuse injuries and some types of arthritis. You may be treated with heat, ice, ultrasound, or stretching exercises. Gentle exercises like walking and swimming can be used too. We call these "low-impact" activities.

Post-surgical Rehabilitation

Physical therapy is helpful after some surgeries, too. It makes you stronger and more flexible. Your therapist will show you exercises and stretches to help you get better.

Alternative to Surgery and Medication

Physical therapy may improve some health problems without surgery or medicine. It helps control pain that goes on for a long time. We call that "chronic pain." Low-impact activities are good for this. Water walking, swimming and flexibility exercises relieve pain and stiffness in your joints. A physical therapy plan helps keep a chronic condition from getting worse. This can help you avoid surgery.

 

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